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Withholding (standard:drama, 3033 words)
Author: aliciaAdded: May 26 2003Views/Reads: 2917/1926Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
After being dumped by her boyfriend Jana must learn to live alone again.

Jana found Drew in the bedroom. He lay on top of the blue coverlet. His
arms were folded behind his head. His eyes which were closed sprang 
open to the sound of the door creaking open. 

“Sorry I didn't call. The meeting ran over.” After dropping her purse on
the floor she sat on the side of the bed, kicked off her black heels 
then lay beside her boyfriend. 

“It's okay.” He said, but when he shied away from her hand on his
forearm she knew it wasn‘t. Lately things had been anything but okay 
between them. 

“What do you want for dinner?” She said after sitting up and scooting
back to the edge of the bed. 


Jana crossed the room to change out of her black dress suit into a white
tee shirt and jean shorts. From the corner of her eye she noted Drew's 
gaze never left the ceiling. After four years she figured the initial 
gloss was bound to wear off. He'd seen her in various states of undress 
hundreds of times. There was no reason to be hurt by his disinterest. 
It was the natural course of any long term relationship. 

Her chest tightened painfully. It did hurt. She liked  to think Drew was
just preoccupied with work, or spending too much time daydreaming to 
pay the proper amount of attention to her, but he'd been acting cold 
and distant towards her for months. 

Jana bare feet padded over the hard wood floors into the kitchen. She
banged cabinet doors closed again and again looking for something to 
fix. Eventually she gave up. Nothing looked good. 

She turned to find Drew standing in the doorway, his one arm propped
against the wall supporting his weight. Faint blue-black circles under 
his eyes told the story that Jana wasn't the only one suffering. His 
thin lips parted, like he was going to say something. She wished for 
something profound that would explain the weeks of withholding. In the 
end he only inhaled sharply and stared at her. 

“What do you want to eat?” She turned back to the sink then rummaged
through the cabinets overhead. “We need to talk.” 

Jana closed the cabinet again. 

“I'm sure you've noticed things aren't the same, between us I mean.” 

She turned back to him, leaned against the counter and crossed her arms
over her chest hugging herself. “I've noticed.” 

“I think we need a break.” He took a sudden interest in the dented wood
of the door frame. 

“Why? I mean, what's changed?” 

“Nothing. I guess that's the problem. Nothing is changing. We're just

“We could,” She fought back tears trying to think of something to say
that would fix this. “take a vacation, just get away for a few days.” 

“I don't think,” 

“Asking for a break, that's just the cowards way of dumping me.” 

He didn't say anything, didn't even try to deny her spin on what he'd

“Why are you doing this to me? There has to be a reason, something.” 

“Whatever we had just isn't there. It's gone. I don't know.” 

“You don't just walk away. We've invested a lot of time in this, in us,
and when things go bad you work on it. You put some work into it and 
fix it.” 

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